National Physical Laboratory

Peter Whibberley

Current interests

Peter Whibberley

Peter Whibberley is leading work on the operation of the national time scale UTC(NPL), including the two-way satellite time and frequency transfer (TWSTFT) links and NPL's time dissemination services. His current areas of research include enhancement of the time scale by automated steering to caesium fountain measurements, and methods for time transfer over dark optical fibres.


Peter joined NPL after completing a BA (Honours) in physics at the University of Oxford. He worked initially on calibration methods for millimetre-wavelength spectrometers installed on the Joint European Torus (JET) nuclear fusion experiment to determine the plasma electron temperature, and developed far infra-red interferometers for spectroscopy of solids, particularly thin-film high-temperature superconductors.

After moving into time and frequency metrology, Peter worked on an experimental optically-pumped caesium beam frequency standard, and then on the construction and evaluation of a prototype caesium fountain primary frequency standard, initially in collaboration with the University of Oxford. He next took over responsibility for the operation and development of NPL's time scale systems and time dissemination services, in particular the TWSTFT station. Peter has given a number of radio and television interviews and briefings to journalists, many of which were about the future of the leap second in UTC.

Peter is currently a Senior Research Scientist in the NPL Time and Frequency group and represents NPL on the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication sector (ITU-R) Working Party 7A, which deals with international coordination of standard-frequency and time broadcasts. He was also a member of the UK delegation to the ITU-R Radiocommunication Assembly in 2012 and has served for several years as NPL's delegate on the EURAMET Technical Committee for Time and Frequency (TC-TF).

Selected publications

Contact details

Tel: +44 20 8943 6746

Last Updated: 15 Dec 2014
Created: 22 May 2013


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